Monday, May 4, 2015

Art Experience: Outdoor Video Projections, A night of Projections

As I walk around the library campus center area, I see some projections set up around campus. There are artists altering the projector, playing with their computers. As I walk through the arch below the library I see the shifting of a projector, displaying onto a sheet. As the image steadies two cats play in a window scene of a library. I interpreted the image to be a reminder for students to stay calm and try not to stress for the heavy work load ahead. I also interpreted it to mean that it is okay to let loose and  have fun: "Work hard, play hard".

As I walk by the staircase to go towards the great room, I pass by Jamie's project and laugh at the turning head that flashes green beady eyes at me. As I approach it it says "excuse me", I take a step closer "oh good I got your attention". As I take another step the head quickly spins in a circle and abruptly lets out a monotone scream/moan. This piece is clearly interactive. The humorous message quickly jumps out at me. This was meticulously placed near the entrance to the staircase  because people are constantly walking in and around the staircase, catching the motion detector almost every time cause people to stop and look around.

Another message I pulled from this piece was the famous Ferris Bueler line,

Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.

Near the turning head, I see a project being setup with the title Wormhole. As you can image a colorful wormhole appears on the screen slowly moving through the tunnel. The effect is quite mesmerizing, taking you  into a time wrap fantasy. To the left of that (perfectly placed above a fountain) is a gif of sharks swimming through an ocean scene. There are a few little bubble floating around as the sharks and fish glide through the scene. 

Although all of the themes seemed to differ pretty dramatically, they all pulled viewers eyes towards them providing an entertaining break from the heaps of pages dying to be studied. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Artist Post: Anja Van Herle

Anja Van Herle is a Los Angela based artist who focuses on painting large scale stylistic work. She focuses on a trend revolving around high fashion. Specifically, a European sense of fashion with an "American sense of wonder". She uses neutral, faded tones with simple facial expressions to create a mix of classical and contemporary ideas of fashion.
Most of her pieces have a central focus point that pops out from the rest of the painting. In the one above it is a diamond, in others a flash of tattooed fingers framing the face, swanky sunglasses resting on a perfectly sculpted nose or bright vivid eyes, drawing the viewer in. Many of her pieces are thought to be mesmerizing; all of the focus points laying on the face of the character in her work. Because the paintings are simple and have fleshy neutral tones, the viewer decides what to interpret from the image.

With this in mind, her work truly explores issues of identity and "emotion and human interrelationships". All the women in the paintings are timelessly sexy and elegant, coming alive and described to be telling stories with their eyes and expressions "that go far beyond simple exhibition of fine fashion". The delicate facial expressions with "vibrant color and dramatic interplay of shadow and light maintaining their enigmatic aura".

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Artist Post- Ripples (Performance by Matti Havens and Chris Ramos)

As soon as I arrived into the gallery, jobs were being handed out to people in the audience. Some were given the job to throw a baseball into the air, one was told to stand up, open an umbrella, popping balloons, doing cartwheels, throwing paper, even take a picture with the flash on. They were also handed a piece of paper with numbers written on it. These numbers were multiples of 2, 3, 4, etc. The man in charge then began tapping his pencil on his clipboard and started counting (beginning at 1). Then the jobs became apparent, at their number came up they would say the number and do the action/motion they were assigned. Although this seemed like a simple, childish act, it turned this "mundane" activity into an interactive, interesting way to come together. At certain numbers everyone would say the number and the room would become immersed with laughter. 

The activity that followed greatly differed from the first. The two men began playing string instruments, one cradling a guitar and the other lounging a cello across his long legs. The man with the guitar sung throughout the performance. His voice seemed to eerily linger in the room, slightly louder then a whisper. As the man with the cello began to play, his face began to crinkle at the nose as if frustrated with controlling the wild beast that was the instrument. We later found out his frustration stemmed from his lack of paying since 1995. The songs they continued to play after that all seemed to create messages about time and how it affects us and our relationships. The first song, called "Same guy" seemed to communicate the mundane boring activities that become engraved into our lives. It also seemed to portray a depressing day in and day out routine about a man "prescribing all the pills" and "writing all the wills". The songs continued to represent certain relationships described throughout the experiences they had with the musicians. 

The musical portion continued, a video began playing, projected onto a large white screen. The video displayed the man playing the guitar and singing. He was walking down the street, however the display on the left of the screen played everything backwards, morphing in the middle with the right side, which was paying things forward. This was clearly another attempt at portraying time, and how it seems to move fast sometimes so fast, one might wish to go back. He began then playing guitar next to the screen keeping the melody of the music, and continuing to sing "pretty blond girl about to play".

The number counting then began to start again. This time however, it was much more theatrical. Seeing as the first time was just a practice, this time balloons were actually being popped, cartwheels actually being rolled, and umbrellas really being opened. The number counting continued till 180, as everyone screamed in unison the final word. 

Then a basket of fortune cookies were passed around. Mine read "Pass this fortune to your neighbor". This is an interesting fortune on its own, not particularly saying anything but the fortune of passing fortunes. This seemed  fitting for the theatrical show that was being put on. 

A piñata hung from the ceiling; this was the next activity that could've described the performance as a whole. A theatrical explosion of nothingness. As the final hit boomed through the room, money and fortune cookies erupted from the fortune cookie piñata. The fortunes were then written down and we were later informed they would be sung into a song. The result was humorous and playful.

Finally an video was displayed on the screen, as the guitar started playing posters were being hung on the screen making an interactive, chaotic display. As the cellist would stop playing in the video the "real" one would begin playing (mirroring the guitarist as well). It became a video where the men were playing with there electronic self. The result was a ripple effect, as the music stopped in the video the live guitarist carried the melody slowly and softly till it rippled out and away. 

Monday, April 6, 2015

Reaction to Identify Yourself

As I click the link to this site the very first thing that I see is a trendy, euphoric interactive web page. It really caught my eye with interesting pictures, colorful text and an overall interactive component. As I read through the article one paragraph caught my eye more than the rest.
In this day and age, technology is such a big part of our lives. We live in a generation with the thought of NEW gadgets. We have the connivence of laptops, smartphones and tablets etc. With this in mind the following paragraph caught my attention.

We feel phantom vibrations in our pockets or as we drift off to sleep at night. We hear an alert and we all check our devices to see who got the message. The sounds are ubiquitous and we allow them to interrupt our most private moments. We are always connected, always listening, always watching for the next piece of feedback that brings us back into the loop of our virtual selves.
When evaluating this paragraph the first thing that catches my attention is the idea that now a days teens get a hard time for always being on electronics. The use of the word "phantom" foreshadows the negative tone sparked by technology. When a phone vibrates or rings to life, everyone scrambles for there phone searching for some attention, whether the attention is Facebook, Instagram or iMessage. We all subconsciously want that ring to represent one more birthday post on our Facebook wall, one more like on our Instagram photo or one more message. We allow these obsessions to interrupt the real world; a intriguing question, a kiss, a math problem. Even writing this sentence I subconsciously checked my phone...but for what? Another escape from the beautiful real world that is evolving around us?

Monday, March 9, 2015

Artist Post: Asher Benson

Asher Benson is a Illustrator and Vector artist from Delaware. She has been participating  in vector work for the past 9 years and she has participated in DeviantART, an online art gallery and community website. She was recently recognized in Adobe Master Class a book focusing on up and coming artist inspiring artworks and creating tutorials (published in 2012).

Her main idea starts with color. She uses it to provoke a mystically, fantasy like world with cartoon-like characters. Although Illustator is her preferred program, she had a hard start with using it. She claims " In my college years, we had a difficult love/hate romance, but as both of us matured and took the time to really get to know each other, we found ourselves not compatible, but inseparable." She describes her work as children with Illustrator, as if they have a real relationship. She hopes to become a "permanent asset within the Social Gamin world". Her involvement with DeviantART, brings her with the public viewing her work, and getting her skills out there.  She describes Illustrator as being a way for her to come out of her wheel and explore a new world; the world of art.

With her cartoony characters, I am able to use her work for some inspiration for my own vector project. She seems to use mostly female characters that have barbie- like figures and mystical backgrounds.